Start planning your summer trip to New Zealand
Endless natural beauty is what makes New Zealand the special place that it is. From snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills to quaint coves and active volcanoes, this country is beguiling, especially in summer. Cities like Auckland and Christchurch offer cosmopolitan vibes and diverse cultural activities, and in summer there’s lots to do.
Why should I visit New Zealand in the summer?
New Zealand is famed for its verdant landscapes and laid-back way of life. Summer days are long, dry, and warm, wonderfully suited to exploring the myriad outdoor pursuits throughout the country. From basking in natural hot springs, experiencing Maori culture, or engaging in high-octane extreme sports, summer is the perfect time to visit New Zealand.
Best things to do in New Zealand in the summer
If you’re planning a summer vacation in New Zealand, try some of these top activities.
Sail the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is beach heaven. Its soft white sands gently dip into an azure ocean. But there's more to this place than just beaches, swimming, and surfing. Go on a dolphin safari to catch a glimpse of these magnificent, intelligent creatures in their natural habitat. Or take a hike around the area to see where the Maori people and the British signed the Treaty of Waitangi, one of New Zealand's foundational documents.
Relax at Hot Water Beach
New Zealand’s coastline is popular with both visitors and locals, and summer weekends see thousands flock to its sands and coastal paths. Hot Water Beach Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula, comes with its very own hot springs, situated just below the sandy surface. Just dig down a little into the sand during low tide and the warm water will bubble up so you can enjoy your very own geothermal pool.
Hike magnificent landscapes
Navigating the varied, awe-inspiring landscapes of New Zealand is a richly rewarding experience. Head to the likes of Tongariro National Park, where trails cover spectacular terrain. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise much of this area from the famous trilogy.
Experience Rotorua's thrills
Summer in New Zealand is the perfect time to visit Rotorua, a center of geothermal activity and Maori heritage. Experience inspiring and informative Maori cultural shows and programming, or try your hand at some adventure sports such as zip lining or bungee jumping. Afterwards, take things a little easier at the alluring hot springs.
Catch sunrise in Gisborne
Ever wondered where the sun rises first? Well, you’ll find it in Gisborne on the North Island, as this is one of the destinations to see the sun first at the beginning of each day. Come in December (the height of New Zealand’s summer) and you can also be one of the first people to usher in the new year.
What’s the weather like in New Zealand in the summer?
New Zealand's summers start in late November and conclude in February. Average daily temperatures can range between 68°F and 86°F, depending on the location and elevation. Rainfall is infrequent and occasional at most. Cool layered cotton clothing is advised during these warm months, and sunscreen should be worn at all times due to the intense sunlight. If you're planning to go on a hike or visit remote areas, it's important to bring extra water and emergency supplies.